An interview with Archie Panjabi

The Good Wife is half-way through its third season on CBS and it has managed to stay one of the strongest legal dramas on television. Considering how many of those there are on network television, that’s no small feat. Showrunners Robert and Michelle King are passionate about their characters, and fans connect with that and their stories, along with the cases that come into the law firm and state’s attorney’s office at the center of the show.

And while the name of the show might make you think Alicia (Julianna Margulies) is the star of the show, she’s only one of a brilliant ensemble cast that make the series the sexy, edgy, intelligent show it is. One of The Good Wife‘s most necessary parts of the group is Archie Panjabi, who plays bisexual private investigator Kalinda Sharma.

Kalinda is a precarious place in Season 3. She’s always been kind of a loner, but she’s also had people in her corner. Now that she’s burnt some bridges with Alicia, Cary and now Dana, she’s feeling a little lonely.

“Kalinda, this season, has been disconnected from everybody,” Panjabi told me. “Cary tried to put her in prison actually in one episode, Alicia doesn’t talk to her, Kelli Giddish isn’t on the season and she hasn’t had any love interests or any relationships so it’ll be nice for her to strike up some friendships in the latter part of the season.”

On Season 2, Kelli Giddish played Sophia, one of Kalinda’s love interests who turned out to be married. And while the relationship was beginning to get interesting, Giddish was soon picked up by Law & Order: SVU and so that storyline had to be scrapped. Panjabi shares our pain.

“They had a great storyline planned,” Panjabi said. “I got on with Kelli Giddish so well. We had a great chemistry between us. Sadly she got signed up by Special Victims Unit, which is great for her but I was really upset because we had a storyline with me, Carry and Sophia. And still today the writers talk about it with sparkles in their eyes but they won’t talk about it, they won’t tell me what it was. Hopefully one day, what was cut short will be explored.”

Sophia has been just one of Kalinda’s love interests on The Good Wife, but it was the one that both the actress and the show’s writers found the most fun to play with.

“I think each of the women have had a different kind of chemistry with Kalinda, but I think with Sophia, Kalinda felt very comfortable with her,” Panjabi said. “Kelli’s character really understood Kalinda more than any of the other women. Kalinda really opened up to this character, and through Sophia we could have gained bigger insight into Kalinda’s character. So that’s why I feel, that’s the way they were going to go. I definitely she feel she had a long history with her. And the scene that Kelli and I did together, she always had this smile on her face which made my character very kind of relaxed. She always had a twinkle in her eye, like she knew what was on Kalinda’s mind.”

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